Leopard kills 3 calves in Kadthal reserve

Forest officials speculate there might be 2 or more leopards on the prowl.

Hyderabad: On Wednesday night, a leopard killed three calves in the Kadthal reserve forest.

Usually a leopard makes a single kill and forest officials have installed camera traps and five cages to track and trap the animal.

The change in strategy of replacing the iron rods of the cage with transparent fibreglass has not yielded any results.

There is some speculation that there may be two or more leopards on the prowl.

This is the 20th kill reported in the last five months and villagers in hamlets in four reserve forest blocks are in a state of panic. The four reserve forest blocks, comprising 6000 hectares, are Kadthal, Yacharam, Mudwin and Mudhivennu, 50 km from Hyderabad city in Ranga Reddy district.

On Wednesday night, the three calves were killed at Maisigandi village near the Kadthal reserve forest. Amangal forest divisional officer (FDO), M Janakiram told this newspaper that, “The leopard attacked its prey on Wednesday night; forest official got to know on Thursday morning. We have installed camera and cage to trap the leopard at the site of the attack. If the leopard returns, it will be spotted. This is the third attack within a radius of 50 metres.”

The old style iron bar cage has been replaced with a fibreglass one to give the illusion that there is nothing between the animal and the bait, but this has not produced the desired result.

Eight cattle owners have been compensated so far for the loss of their animals but the count of animal deaths would go beyond twenty if dogs and other small animals are also counted.

The Forest department pays compensation only if the leopard attack takes place in the village; if the leopard attacks its prey in the forest area, no compensation is given.

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